Jump to content
  • Advertisement
  • 08/24/17 12:05 PM

    Indie Marketing For N00bs: Lesson 1 - Network, Network, Network

    GameDev Unboxed
       (1 review)

    Jesse "Chime" Collins

    Network, Network, Network: Make Your Contacts Early On

    Welcome to the first lesson for Indie Marketing for N00bs on GameDev.net. This will be a series of blogs to help indie developers really focus their marketing techniques and be successful in their campaigns. I’ve been with the game industry for over a decade, with focuses on journalism, marketing, public relations, advertising, and community management and I’ve boiled some of the more key components to know down into 5 lessons. We’ll start today’s lesson with Networking.

    Networking is an essential part of anyone that wants to get their game out there. Who are you talking to about your game? Are the masses even hearing about it, or are you just throwing up up on Facebook to friends and family? Who should you be talking to? This brings us to the first point.

    Take All Of Your Contacts And Put Them Together

    Make a media list. As a marketer, we’re handed massive media lists from events and create our own from around the industry. But, as a developer, starting from scratch is the main place to be. This list is who you will talk to every time you want to make an announcement. The list should include relevant press and media, influencers, press websites, newswires, and publications, as well as the swath of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn contacts you have derived in your adventure of development.

    You’re going to want to make it as easy on yourself as you can because it’s not a quick job. I always recommend a spreadsheet. Anyone and everyone that is press or media should be included on the list because you don’t want to have to submit through a “tip form” every time you want to get ahold of a publication or outlet. That’s annoying, frustrating, and most of those “tips” are skimmed past and ignored anyway. You need a name, a contact, to go straight to.

    Making the list, you should include relevant contact information for each person, like their full name, title, publication name, and relevant notes about their specific functions. For instance, you probably don’t want to send your single-player game to a website that focuses on multiplayer games.

    Stay Current

    One major point of interest is the need to keep the list current and updated anytime you can. Ultimately, people lose their lobes or leave for other positions. This can not only leave a hole in some large contact spots, but also displaces contacts. Additionally, contacts from one publication may leave and make their own website, which can open up more possible eyes.

    I found a list I had made from 2010, recently, and went through is to see what could be relevant to my modern list. Out of nearly 200 contacts, I kept a total of 6 exactly as they were. A very unfortunate amount of those websites didn’t even exist anymore. They had gone the way of the wind. Many of the publications that still exist had new people in the reigns 6 or 7 years later. Now, a chunk of those names still are writers in the industry, though. Researching each one found that they had moved to a different website and changed their email from the business email they had previous, but were still relevant. Out of those, I kept another 30, but it took work to find the right contact info for each.

    Know Your Industry

    So, you’re making a game. What platforms will it be on? Who are your contacts within the industry? We’re beyond the days of old-school Rolodexes, but we’re not beyond the need to have people available at the touch of a dial. Developers should figure out their contacts and representatives for each outlet. ID@XBOX, Playstation, Steam, Nintendo, IndieBox, and Itch.io are just a few to find and keep, as well as contact information for recruiting agencies and websites that can help you find who you might be looking for. Websites like GameDev.Net are key ingredients to your contact smoothie to help like-minded developers meet and make contacts. Remember: You might not know a person, but someone else may.

    Bill Kunkel, known as The Game Doctor, was the very first game journalist, having helped found EG Magazine in the 1980s. He mentored me in his later years and something he told me resonates a decade later in my mind everyday. He told me, “It’s not who you know, or even what you know. It’s who knows you. You can say you know everything in the world, but if they have no idea who you are, it’s not worth a thing.” As a developer, you need to stand above the rest of the crowd. The loudest wins. Make sure people know who you are.

    But, how do I make people remember me?

    Join websites and social media platforms for designed for developers. Join dev groups on Facebook. Go out and join in on some of the thousands of Game Jams held every year. Join forum communities like GameDev.net. Attend game events in your area. You have to make friends that are like minded because allies will boost your name.

    Advice can come from anywhere, as well. One of the folks that you meet in your travels may make it big before you, or they’re already big. Our industry may be rough around the edges sometimes, but the pros and classic legends are some of the most helpful people in the industry. I remember working on an old website years ago, and I had an error in the coding of the site. I just couldn’t figure it out. As I was cussing to myself over it, I happened to have been talking to John Romero (Yes, John Romero from ID Software) at that moment. I remember him going “Aha! I see the problem!”. I gave him access to it, and he solved it for me. It really shows how friendly people are in our industry. Don’t be afraid to talk to them.

    Networking will also help you find people you need, like artists, programmers, and the like. The people you meet on your journey might be exactly who you need or put you in the right direction to find your grail.

    Of course you’ll get detractors here and there, but if you don’t have a list of allies and contacts for your quest, you’re likely to not be as successful. No one does this completely alone. Just remember: The answer is always “No” unless you ask.



      Report Column Entry


    User Feedback


    There are no comments to display.



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
  • Similar Content

    • By pulse sfsf
      Project Title:

      SteamFall

      Description:
      The player begins the game in a underground cryogenic lab where he wakes up after 70 years of being cryogenically frozen. The player goes to the surface only to find a desolate wasteland. You must find out what happened.

      Includes:
      Post-Apocalyptic & Steampunk atmosphere. Unique Story First person view point. Ambitious in scope. Team Name:
      Team DATA7

      Previous Work:
      N/A - first title as a team.

      Talent Required:
      3D Artist (2+)
      Ability to export to FBX format. Experience with UE4 toolset a bonus. Expected to create additional props & Hardsurfaces And environments And 3D Characters Expected To Rig & Animate any creature
      Unreal Engine Programmers (2)
      Experience with Unreal required. Experience with UE4 toolset a bonus. Expected To Code in-game Systems Must Be Able To Work with and be nice to others
      Contact:
      E-mail: Data7games@gmail.com
       



    • By dj180
      For some gamers out there, platformer games can be the main deciding factor when considering which console to buy (when buying all of them is not a realistic option). Personally, I have been playing Playstation consoles my entire life, dabbling in other consoles and portable gaming platforms, yet I always seem to return to Playstation because of the exclusive games only available through their platforms. The Last of Us is an award-winning 3D action platformer game available only on Playstation consoles. 
      The single player campaign opens in the midst of a zombie virus outbreak among the entire world. The narrative follows two characters Joel, a father to a recently deceased daughter due to the outbreak, and Ellie a teenager who is believed to hold the cure to the virus in her immune system. Joel encounters a militia group, known as the Fireflies, that formed after the outbreak and is quickly tasked with the mission of delivering Ellie to other members of the militia outside the quarantined zone. Due to the initial conflict set up by the narrative and the undercover nature of the main mission, the suggested way to play the game is by remaining out of sight as much as possible and engaging enemies in a sly manner. However, games are places people flock to when looking for an escape from reality, a place with no rules or direction in some cases. For this reason, gamers approach games from different perspectives, causing them to play the game using different strategies. 

      Some player types such as the Killer player type defined by the Bartle player dichotomy the would prefer to take tactical approach to the task at hand, rather than a strategic one. For these type players, the combat they seek would include more face-to-face and traditional battles. For a strategic player, playing the game as if they themselves were in the shoes of the character, it is more appealing to remain as hidden as possible. The Last of Us also does a nice job of including both perspectives in specific instances. Players do not have to actively seek out or play intentionally with a certain strategy, the elements that Killers and Achievers enjoy most are built into the narrative at some main turning points, whereas most minor engagements are left up to the choice of the player. 

      In addition to the two polarizing player types mentioned previously, The Last of Us elegantly includes elements favored by the scavenger and artisan player types as well. Above the main mission of transporting Ellie to the Fireflies, there is obviously a larger responsibility to remain alive. There are several mechanics contained within the game that players can use to increase their chances of survival. Some of these mechanics include looting and crafting. It is possible to “loot” in virtually every scene of the game, although it is entirely the player’s choice whether to spend time looting or continue on with the main story line. Looted items can be used to craft items to boost health, melee weapons, and throwable items such as Molotov cocktails and nail bombs. These items are crafted with smaller parts players find by looting abandoned place and of course, classic to most Naughty Dog games, some of the better items require more exploring. Although all players must use items and crafting to some degree in order to play through the game successfully, the game will reward players more who spend more time searching for these items. This is also a positive feedback mechanism because players who are excelling in the game will be given opportunities to make the game easier through the use of the items they are able to craft. Crafting can also allow players to make improvements to Joel’s abilities and, at certain work benches found throughout the story, his firearms.  Dylan Richmond 

      The craft-able items also introduce a variety of combat techniques that appeal to the wide array of player types. Certain enemies require some sort of tactic or craft-able item in order to defeat. A “clicker” is a type of enemy players encounter who uses its sense of hearing to detect players, making it easier for players to sneak around in plain sight, however players cannot engage this enemy without a weapon of some sort, or they will instantly die. This encourages players to come up with a clever and stealthy way to defeat this type of enemy. One option is to sneak up behind a clicker and use a craft-able item called a shiv in order to defeat the enemy. This is designed for rational players because this technique requires a great deal of thought and concentration in order to prevent the clicker from noticing the player. Aggressive players might ignore the clicker’s abilities of enhanced hearing and strength and face the clicker straight on with a gun or a melee weapon, such as a crowbar. Casual players may attempt to defeat the enemy from afar with one of the easiest methods, a Molotov cocktail. This item will attract the clicker to its flames and if the clicker has been standing in the flames for long enough, it will be defeated. This method is also best for defeating large hoards of zombies or clickers and might be chosen by a strategic or tactical player. 

      People have all sorts of play styles, approaches, and ways of enjoying video games, many beyond the scope of merely one game. Including these alternative pathways throughout video games increase their appeal to a greater number of people, which is ultimately the goal in creating a video game, yet having these various routes also increases the overall enjoyment of the game for everyone. For any player type, it is reassuring to know that if one of the options are situationally unavailable, another option is always at hand. The Last of Us artfully combines its narrative and combat mechanics with a multitude of viable player types. It’s the cross between elements and approaches from these player types that keeps The Last of Us fresh with every new engagement. Keeping a single consistent play style throughout the entire game is not an easy task for most, often times players must use a combination of strategies, abilities, and interact with various features in order to successfully complete The Last of Us. 
        
    • By Genius-xi
      Hello everyone I would like to announce that I am working on a fighting game that will be released in 2019 as a full game.I would like to take some of your time and ask that you check it out and give me some feedback.If you like the game please follow me on https://web.facebook.com/PlayMechs/





  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!